The Collected Regrets of Clover
by Mikki Brammer
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Pub Date 09 May 2023 | Archive Date 23 May 2023
Mikki Brammer's The Collected Regrets of Clover is a big-hearted and life-affirming debut about a death doula who, in caring for others at the end of their life, has forgotten how to live her own, for readers of The Midnight Library.
What’s the point of giving someone a beautiful death if you can’t give yourself a beautiful life?
From the day she watched her kindergarten teacher drop dead during a dramatic telling of Peter Rabbit, Clover Brooks has felt a stronger connection with the dying than she has with the living. After the beloved grandfather who raised her dies alone while she is traveling, Clover becomes a death doula in New York City, dedicating her life to ushering people peacefully through their end-of-life process.
Clover spends so much time with the dying that she has no life of her own, until the final wishes of a feisty old woman send Clover on a trip across the country to uncover a forgotten love story––and perhaps, her own happy ending. As she finds herself struggling to navigate the uncharted roads of romance and friendship, Clover is forced to examine what she really wants, and whether she’ll have the courage to go after it.
Probing, clever, and hopeful, The Collected Regrets of Clover turns the normally taboo subject of death into a reason to celebrate life.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 105 members
A wonderful celebration of life from the perspective of a death doula. The Collected Regrets of Clover is charming, surprising, and utterly compelling.
Clover is 36. She lives in NYC and spends most of her time working as a death doula, helping people who are dying find some solace in their final moments. She is lonely but does not necessarily want the company of others. Her only friend is her neighbor Leo, a man in his 80s. When a new neighbor moves into her building, an opportunity to form a friendship and broaden her horizons opens up. At the same time, Clover is immersed in her latest job, during which she bonds with Claudia, a former photojournalist with terminal cancer. Now, Clover finds herself reflecting on how she has been living and what she wants to do to make the most of whatever time she has left.
I adored this story and read it in one sitting as I was completely drawn into Clover’s world. It stands out as one of my favorite reads of the 200 books I’ve read so far this year. I have no doubt this novel will be a well-deserved bestseller when it releases in May 2023. Clover is one of the most lovable and sympathetic literary characters I have encountered and it was a pleasure to follow her and cheer her on as she learns more about what she wants out of life.
Thank you very much to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this amazing debut.
I'm very happy that I took a chance on this debut novel that is somewhat out of my wheelhouse. The author did a great job bringing the characters to life, and I found many of the issues related to end of life very thought-provoking. Although the book could have been depressing, it was handled in a way that was more life-affirming. I appreciated that the events of the book took unexpected turns. This unique book has left me with lots to think about, and I think it will stay with me for a long time. I believe the book would be a great choice for book discussion groups, and I highly recommend it.
This was a wonderful book about death and how people grieve. All people process things differently and Clover, a death doula, helps people not be alone as they pass from this life to another. Finding friendship and love in the end really kept me going to see what would happen next for Clover.
Quirky and whimsical, with a heroine you root for and a compelling plot! I loved the pacing and story, and sympathized with Clover throughout her journey. Very feel-good and makes you want to live life to the fullest.
What an amazing journey of discovering oneself. I love Clover. I think there is a bit of Clover in all of us. Clover is a Death Doula. This was new to me but what a fascinating career. To share peoples last word and give such comfort to those passing over. It helped me to not be so afraid of death and really trying to connect and have open conversation about it. I enjoyed watching Clover move from being quite alone to discovering herself and the wonderful woman she could be. This book has it all, friendship, first love, grief, self discovery and so much more. I enjoyed the author’s flow of writing and the book played in my mind like a movie.
Phew! This book! The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer was a stunning and heartbreaking novel surrounding a death doula. Death has surrounded Clover Brooks since she was a young girl. But maybe death isn't only about grief and sorrow. Perhaps it can be about celebration and life, as well!
Charming and unexpected, The Collected Regrets of Clover follows 36-year-old Clover’s life as a death doula in New York City. Her whole life revolves around death, until she learns how to open up and live without regrets.
This is literary fiction at its finest. Brammer does an incredible job of creating and establishing an intriguing cast of characters and bringing them through a beautiful, poignant story, with so many lovely surprises. I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this debut!
Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.
I loved this book. I liked Clover and liked that it was in first person because I really enjoyed seeing the world from her perspective. This book could have been depressing if written by another author. But instead, it was touching, and at times light and humorous, and hopeful. It also had a lot of life lessons. I really enjoyed watching Clover grow in her journey. I know I will be thinking about this book for a long time and I will miss the characters. I definitely recommend this book and will be looking for more by this author in the future.
This is such a beautiful examination of what we forfeit when we allow hurt and feeling we don’t fit in anywhere to close us off to the possibilities of life. I’m exceedingly grateful to Net Galley and St Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this ahead of its summer 2023 release. I predict I will be thinking about this story and these characters and the possibilities for my own lonely, small life for a very long time.
The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer is a great contemporary fiction that I really enjoyed.
This is a story that delves into finding one’s purpose, and one’s place in life. It is also a story of second chances at life and that it never too late to seek and find happiness.
Thank you NG and St. Martin’s Press for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.
I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 5/9/23.
"It wasn't just the regrets of the dying people I was trying to resolve- it was my own"
Orphaned at a young age and always a bit quirkier than those around her, Clover Brooks now works as a death doula in New York City. Losing those closest to her and knowing they died alone, she now spends her days and nights bringing solace and companionship to those in their final moments. For years she has kept journals detailing her career's experiences. The dying's last words, advice, final moments and moods, and most important of all--their regrets. Determined to not let their life's regrets be in vain, Clover tries to work their regrets into her life. A means to right a wrong. In doing so she begins to find regrets of her own. Whether fully intentional or not, she has devoted her entire life to giving others a beautiful death and in turn has denied herself of a beautiful life in the process. Clover is single, never had a serious relationship in her almost 40 years--or even a kiss, and her closest companions are her pets and 87 year old neighbor, Leo. While visiting one of the cities various death cafes, Clover has a chance meeting that leads her to a client who will help her not only reflect upon her past, but will ultimately change the course of her future.
Happenstance. Serendipity. Fate. Call it what you will, but life has a way of giving you just what you need exactly when you need it. This story is written so beautifully & is not only a story death, but one of life! The Collected Regrets of Clover definitely has moments of sadness and despair, but it is ultimately a story of hope. I went into this book blindly, not sure what to expect. Several times while reading I got Evelyn Hugo vibes and was pleasantly surprised at every turn of the page. Five stars!
Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for a ARC in exchange for my honest review. Publishing May 9 2023
Wow wow wow! I’m speechless.
Ok this is an incredibly well written and beautiful story. It is heartbreaking. Honestly not my regular genre but definitely a top read of the year for me.
I was completely absorbed amongst the pages and dear Clover's life. Clover hit very close to home for me. She is one who chose to live her life by observing much more than engaging. As one who does the same, I get it. We are simpatico, Clover. I see you! I am you! Of course, it leads to a small life, and that totally works for some people...until it doesn't. Clover chooses a profession in which she can help people with grace and dignity to the end of their lives. She keeps several notebooks with words of wisdom and regrets that her clients have expressed so that they are not forgotten. And she does her best to honor those words by putting the advice and regrets into actions. It's a beautiful thing, really. This story just made my heart sigh and when I turned the last page, it made me look at my own life and maybe take away a lesson or two myself.
Where do I even begin?! I was initially hesitant to read this book as someone who has always been uncomfortable discussing death, but it really made me pause and take stock of my feelings and fears. Clover is such an honest, raw character and I was surprised at how much I related to her despite thinking we are opposites. Unlike some books where events or endings might feel overexaggerated or unrealistic, I felt like everything in this story happened when it should have. I honestly don't think I would change a thing.
I love the death doula and death cafe facets especially given it’s an area I’ve been investigating - the role it played in both narrative and characters. I was emotionally invested from the first page and beyond the turn of the last page.
My favorite character is undoubtedly Clover because she’s beautifully flawed. She has an unbelievable sense of self and knows so much more than she gives herself credit. Bottom line she’s imperfectly perfect and grows as her story unfolds along with her experiences. Overall, this book was captivating and truly a favorite. Memorable, I thoroughly enjoyed my reading experience. Unobtrusively beautiful. Definitely looking forward to more of this caliber from Mikki Brammer.
Wow, this is the best book I have read in 2022 so far. This book will be published in May of 2023 but I am so grateful to have received an ARC. Thank you to St Martin Press and NetGalley for this incredible book. The description is what caught my eye. Death Doula? What? So Clover is almost 40 women living in New York City with the occupation of a Death Doula. So this is a new occupation for me but I found it fascinating to think about. The book is not really what I had envisioned from the description but it was so much more. We follow Clover through her daily life and see why she does what she does. We come to understand why Clover is the way she is and we get to see how through her client's final words Clover is changed. I just fell in love with Clover. I learned a lot about life from her wonderful insights. I love how Mikki Brammer writes. It reads like a movie in my mind and flows so well. It's hard to believe that this is the first book for Mikki. I hope there are more books to come.
This book hooked me in from the first page. I was immediately drawn to Clover. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book in which I identified with the main character so deeply. I understand what it feels like to have been (essentially) raised as an only child and the profound loneliness that comes with it. I can empathize with the social awkwardness of trying to make a friend when you have none.
The plot ended up being sort of a “slow burn” but watching Clover learn to trust herself and take a few risks while healing from her own grief was worth it.
Wow. I loved this book! Rarely do I feel compelled to highlight or flag certain paragraphs - but with this book there were so many nuggets of wisdom I wanted to capture and remember. This is also a book I wanted to talk about and dissect with others! I think it would be a really nice book club pick as it inspires deep reflection.
This is a beautiful and captivating story, and I didn't want to put it down. I loved Clover and her character development - I empathized with her as she navigated friendship, family, grief, and love. I will definitely be recommending this book, especially to those navigating their own journey with grief and loss. I appreciated how this book offers a different perspective on navigating death - I wish more people were open to discussing it. The more we put it in a box that can't be talked about, the scarier it is!
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Leslie Meier; Lee Hollis; Barbara Ross
James D. Shipman
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